Monday, August 11, 2008

The PRIVILAGE to year and long for a home and homeland

Anita Tucker
Dearest friends who care and feel

It is Tisha B'Av morning, marking for caring people the world over the end of an extended, so sad period, marking the enemy's penetrating the walls of Jerusalem, destroying the city and the Beit Hamikdash and all our people being sent to exile many many years ago. In four days, on the 13th of Av, our community will commemorate the long year and half from the time our hometown was declared an area to be destroyed, the long struggle to protest and prevent this via democratic means that were trampled, until the very black day that our own IDF soldiers were sent under the flag of our State of Israel to expel us from our homes and destroy all, when 30 years of tears, sweat, hard work, investments, were turned into a pile of rubble.

All this to enable the enemy terrorists to prepare a base to attack and eventual G-d forbid try to destroy and conquer all of Israel.

We learn by reading the Tenach, the Bible, how beautiful were the people of Israel and their life style when the Beit Hamikdash stood and the people of Israel hugged the Torah's guidance, and how we joyfully made a place from which the plentiful could be showered upon all that adhered to the Source of Goodness,. We learn how we were then a powerful nation and how the powerful nations around the world respected Israel and wanted to make peace with Israel.

I have told over the last three years on endless occasions, in endless locations my lifetime stories of how barren Netzer Hazani, Gush Katif was when we first were sent there by the Government of Israel.

I have told endless times how it turned into a most beautiful area filled with marvelous homes and families , synagogues, productive agriculture, institutes of learning and research, tourism.

The Arabs around respected us up until Israel agreed to bend to demands of others in ways that weakened Israel .The Arab culture is very different than ours and saw this as a sign of weakness and began trying to trample us down because we showed weakness.

Yet we in Gush Katif had fortitude to ride the waves of the most difficult of times with assurances that G-d was behind us with doses of daily miracles to help us hold up. In Netzer Hazani three of our dear ones were murdered by Arab terror including our dear Rav Yitchak Arama H.Y.D.thousand of missles and rockets were launched against us by the Arab terrorists. Our personal dialogue with the Almighty gave us strength and faith.

Each time I tell the story, and I have told it thousand of times, my longing for my home and for my homeland become intensified.

Each time I tell the story of Netzer Hazani, of the communities of Gush Katif, my determination to succeed to build our town anew, to succeed in getting the funds that the Prime Minister's office is demanding of us to meet the shortfall they insist we pay to acquire the agricultural lands for the officially approved town to be built for all the families of our community.

Each time I tell the story of our beautiful town having been built in inert sand dunes that had been barren since Abraham and Isaac.

Each time I retell how the Muchtars (mayor's religious leaders) of the then sleepy Arab towns came to welcome us with bread and salt in their tradition and tell us we are crazy to want to build here because in their tradition this area is called "the cursed land".

I tell how the cursed land became the blessed land, and our children grew up feeling and knowing they lived in a blessed land.

As I tell for the umpteen times how all we built with G-d's help was destroyed to rubble, my yearning and longing for my home and homeland becomes so very intense that it is hard to describe. This yearning and longing is what I hear in the voices and see in the eyes of all my friends and neighbors of my community of Netzer Hazani.

This year is the third anniversary of the destruction of our town of Netzer Hazani, the first of the civilian towns built in Gush Katif. It is the third anniversary of the destruction of the 23 towns that were Gush Katif..

The number three has a painful ring of permanence, as the halachic concept of three makes a "chazaka "- It is as if the number three yells at us -
"nu!! Finally now accept that all is destroyed, move on...."

This year I realize and feel in my heart and soul that one of the positive sides of this aching yearning for our home and homeland is that I have the zchut, the privilege, to feel intensely, a bit like Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya and Rabbi Yehoshua who stood on Mt. Scopus looking at Mt. Zion and saw the foxes roaming in the abandon of the ruins of destruction of the Holy Temple and cried bitter tears over this destruction as he yearned so intensely for what was.

When I saw the video news strips of the terrorists practicing their killing of Jews in the ruins of Neve Dekalim and Atzmona I felt a bit like these Rabbi's and their students.

This year though, I and my neighbors had the privilege to feel a bit like Rabbi Akiva who stood looking towards Mt Zion and laughed --because as he saw the fulfillment of the prophesies of destruction he knew the prophesies of comfort and rebuilding would as well be fulfilled.

Recently Arab acquaintances in the Gaza strip told some of my friends that in the ruins of Netzer Hazani one can barely recall the town that was all of Netzer Hazani looks again like the barren sand dunes that it was when we first came.

This makes it easier to believe that soon our people and our land will have a bracha, a blessing and with it we will build anew when the time is ripe.

Meanwhile we are struggling desperately to raise the two million dollars that the Prime Minister's office of Israel is demanding of us before we can sign the contract for the farm land acquisition, and the infrastructure to build a town for our community.

It is a shortfall that they have between what was budgeted for the acquisition of the town and what they realized it would actually cost after the Government of Israel made and approved the detailed plans for this new town.

We had a town, it was destroyed with a law ensuring it would be replaced, and all we ask is to finally ensure this will be.

Our families are living in the stomach of a question mark (?)--will we ever be able to build anew and have a town for our community?

What will happen in one year when the interim shoddy caravillas are scheduled to be destroyed as indicated in the contract between Kibbutz Ein Tzurim and the Prime Minister's office? Will our families have to buy new containers to pack their belongings to be stored again until another interim site is located?

We MUST AND WILL build anew . The values and spirit salvaged from the rubble of our lifetime cannot be destroyed. We must have the land to build anew where the values and spirit that our country so needs will again blossom and flourish.

We have till now raised over $800,000 towards the $ two million dollars demanded of us. You can make a difference with whatever sum you participate with towards this effort.

Please recall our story of having built beautiful Gush Katif from barren sand dunes and yearn with me for my home, for my homeland. Yearn with me today for Jerusalem standing in its glory, yearn with me for the Beit Hamikdash in the best of times.

Smile with me as Rabbi Akiva, with the belief that the prophesies of comfort, of good times, of building anew will be.

Thanks for caring, caring gives strength, anita

Please contact me if you would like to make a difference

Israel 0547775268

USA and others countries 972-547775268 (press English and then donate for details )

Comment: I have written about this many times but my words cannot measure up to those of Anita Tucker, of Netzer Hazani, who tells the story of the expulsion from Gush Katif firsthand. She was known as 'the celery lady' and whenever we visited that community she welcomed us enthusiastically with a talk about how she felt blessed to be where she was living, doing what she was doing - raising her celery - and we had a taste of her delicious vegetable.

I remember that terrible day 3 years ago when we watched on tv, unbelieving, the forced evacuation of Jews from their communities. Later that evening we stood in the plaza in front of the Kotel waiting for the buses that were bringing in our weeping Jewish refugees from Netzer Hazani. As they approached I saw Anita; as she passed me, holding her head high she said, " "I am a spiritual person - I have no home now - I am coming to the house of the Lord!".. and she walked on with others to the Wall .....

Those who had favored the 'disengagement' thought it a 'great success'.....maybe 'a painful concession ' in the interest of peace. Others thought that it was a necessary exercise to test the intentions of the enemy ( who has never been required to do anything in the interest of that same 'peace'. As if we had not had ample proof of the results. Even with that we have a government that wants to expel up to 250,000 more citizens of Israel; they have not learned a thing from the fiasco of 3 years ago that involved 'only' 10,000!
The stress has caused family separations, divorces, teen problems, financial difficulties, and more. It has brought the enemy closer and Jewish communities are in greater danger of attack.

Exactly 3 years later, Anita has written the moving letter that follows and has asked that it be forwarded. For that reason I am sending this out ---that everyone may learn and understand -- that we must never allow a repetition of that horrendous chapter in our history.

Finally, lest those who live in other countries believe that it has nothing to do with them, it is time to connect the dots. Israel's enemies are part of the network of international enemies. The sooner we all learn this the better chance we have of protecting ourselves. Anita's letter follows:

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